Overcoming fear in recovery from addiction can be challenging because fear and recovery can fuel each other. Fear is a visceral reaction that takes hold of our logic, hijacking our conscious mind and causing physical and mental symptoms of all kinds. Addiction can have an equally powerful hold on someone, except the unconscious mind is doing everything it can to get closer to the source of the problem. In someone who’s recovering from addiction, fear can be a stumbling block that may lead to relapse. For this reason, we’re sharing some common fears people experience in recovery and tips for dealing with them.
Common Fears in Addiction Recovery
We experience fear when there’s a conflict between what we want, need, or love and when one of these desires is threatened, taken away, or unfulfilled. Addressing and overcoming fear in recovery is important because fear strips our sense of control, making it easier to derail you from your recovery efforts.
With that said, there are specific fears that people in addiction recovery tend to experience, including:
- Fear of change
- Fear of sobriety
- Fear of emotions
- Fear of shame or ridicule
- Fear of boredom
- Fear of loss
- Fear of relapse
Ideally, with addiction recovery comes a change that’s supportive of your end goal: sobriety. For many, this means letting go of long-term friendships that may have contributed to your drug use.
This means getting a new job or moving. This also means acknowledging your wrongs and finding ways to make amends with people you may have hurt, even if they don’t want to accept your apology.
The vulnerability of this transition can induce fear, understandably so, but it’s better to acknowledge this so you can move forward and make the changes necessary to maintain your sobriety for the rest of your life.
Strategies for Dealing With Fear In Addiction Recovery
So how do you address fear and addiction recovery? What do you do when you’re scared to go to rehab or don’t want to stop talking to those buddies who introduced you to drugs or drank with you? Below are some tips for overcoming fear in recovery that can offer some guidance.
Acknowledge your fears
Do you know how the first step in addiction recovery is admitting you have one? This is no different. The first step to conquering fear in recovery is acknowledging what you’re afraid of and why you need to address it.
Afraid of relapse? Research some relapse prevention strategies you can follow to stick with your goals. Afraid of making amends with someone you hurt? Research how to approach the situation or ask a professional what to do.
By identifying the source of your fear, you can come up with an effective strategy in dealing with it.
Identify irrational and rational fears
Fear is sometimes healthy and can get us moving when we’re determined to stand still. However, while some fears have the power to drive necessary change, others are irrational, exaggerated, and promote reckless behavior. This is why it’s important to differentiate between rational and irrational fears.
Scared of being sober? Ask yourself why. Is it the process that scares you? The possible loss of friends or relationships? Having to acknowledge underlying problems you’d prefer to keep buried? This is an important step to take to get to the root of your struggles so you can enjoy a life that’s not determined by drugs, alcohol, or fear.
Focus on the present
Fears are future worries, and it can be easy to lose time and sacrifice precious memories to fear and constant worrying. In moments where you feel overwhelmed by an impending sense of doom, ask yourself why?
Is this something you can control? Is there anything you can change right now? Not only is it okay and normal to not know what the future holds, but it’s also okay to make plans for the future.
Most importantly, enjoy the present. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family. Try to make the most of this process, and on days where you seem to dwell on the negatives, think of all the good that will come out of your recovery.
Talk to someone
Accountability is crucial in addiction recovery, so another great way to overcome fear in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is to share your fears with someone you’re close to and trust. It’s always great to have an accountability partner who can look out for you when you start to slip a bit.
For instance, if you have a fear of relapsing, share this with your loved one so they can look out for signs of relapse and offer your support when you need it most. The more eyes you have on your situation, the less likely you are to “get away” with something that will negatively impact your recovery.
Ask for help
If you’re still struggling to manage your fears and don’t want to relapse, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Our Milford treatment center offers support groups and various therapy programs that can guide you through this process. From medically monitored detox to offer comfort and support for fear of withdrawals to aftercare services to manage fears of relapse, our specialists are here for you.
No one should go through recovery alone, and thanks to the trained specialists at our Milford rehab, you don’t have to. For more information about our Delaware addiction treatment and services, contact Banyan Treatment Center today at 888-280-4763.
What to Do After a Relapse
Why Do People Relapse?